British audio products manufacturer Sonifex Ltd. has announced with deep sadness that its founder, Paul Brooke, has passed away after a short illness. The company issued a statement that traced Brooke’s impact on audio electronics.
Brooke was keen on electronics, radio and TV from an early age, building his first crystal radio set at the age of 10 and joining a local radio and TV club as a teenager, where radar screens were modified with RF circuitry to make an early form of television.
He completed an apprenticeship at Marconi in Chelmsford, where he learned a broad range of engineering skills which set him up for a career in electronics, initially working at the AEI labs in Rugby and the Northampton-based mixing desk manufacturer Elcom/Plessey. Turning down a job at CERN in Switzerland, Brooke decided to start his own company in the front room of his home in Wellingborough in 1969, where Sonifex was born.
He began manufacturing innovative bespoke audio solutions, including mixing desks for the film and TV industry, building Sonifex up steadily, employing more and more staff, and relocating twice to purpose-built factories as the company expanded.
The company’s big breakthrough came in the 1980’s. Brooke’s experience in combining mechanical and electronic design created a best-in-class product, designing and building world-leading broadcast NAB cartridge machines, which defined the company for many years. Sonifex became known for the high quality and reliability of its products.
Brooke retired in 1994, having developed Sonifex into a thriving international broadcast manufacturer, supplying an ever-increasing range of sophisticated broadcast audio equipment for the TV, radio, security and telecommunications industries.
Sonifex added, “A technically brilliant engineer and an astute businessman with a keen sense of humor, Paul will be missed.” He leaves behind his wife, Dorothy, and sons Andrew and Marcus.